19 December 2009
springerle, oh, springerle...
When I made the roster for the holiday baking binge this year, I admit that I put you toward the bottom of the list intentionally because your beauty and history intimidated me. You are, after all, widely loved and coveted.
But I have baked many difficult pastries and cakes and cookies and decided that we should be friends. I obtained a lovely folk art rolling pin and a poinsetta cookie mold in order to get to know you better, scoured the internet for recipes and did diligent research into the best way to make you.
I even found this video. The baker smiles and mixes and looks happy. Its how I imagined our time together. So when I wandered into the kitchen this morning feeling confident and cheerful, I toted her along with me, making room on the far counter for my laptop so she and I could make you together.
Everything went swimmingly. She whipped eggs, I whipped eggs. She gently added teaspoons of flavoring, I gently added teaspoons of flavoring. I breathed in the intoxicating perfume that only half a dozen eggs, a stick of unsalted butter, two pounds of powdered sugar and organic vanilla extract can produce.
Dooley sang his approval, I smiled lightly and turned up the Christmas music on the radio.
Then I added the flour. That, dear springerle, is when you decided to bitch slap me to the ground.
Apparently, my home use kitchen aid mixer (who I love dearly) is not strong enough to handle your dough once the flour is added. Under no circumstances is it acceptable to make it sound like a cat being skinned. Your cruelty forced me to finish adding the flour by hand, an activity that produced the first level of bitterness toward you.
You dried out in a flash (which a google search told me is common) so I dipped my fingers in water. You got sticky, I threw flicks of flour (and insults) at you, I attempted to roll you out and stood there and stared as you cracked and became largely unusable.
I pondered you for a moment. I could give up. The trash can would be most pleased to consume you. I began to understand what the superheros feel like in comic books when they first meet their arch enemies. You, my friend, are no match for a determined Virgo.
I set out with concrete resolution and managed to pry two trays of cookies out of your dried out carcass:
The impressions are not as deep as I would like but they are there and I laugh in your direction at the triumph this produces in me. You've left a trail of misery. The dog is upset, mom is worried about the cussing wafting from the kitchen and it took an extraordinary amount of time to clean and reassemble all the tools it took to make you.
After our battle was complete, I googled you obsessively to find out what could have possibly gone wrong. It appears you've been inflicting torment on innocent bakers for decades. (I even spent some time looking up German swear words so I could communicate with you properly.)
Tomorrow I bake you. Do not make the mistake of thinking that just because I wasted three hours of my life this afternoon producing a relatively low amount of cookies that I will be as patient tomorrow. I will have large amounts of heat on my side, keep that in mind should you decide to throw a temper tantrum. I am not above burning you just for spite.
Dooley sang to you as he sang to all the other (nicer and more cooperative) cookies I have made over the past couple of weeks. I didn't feel you deserved his admiration so you have been put in solitary confinement in the dining room while you dry out overnight. I hope you will spend the time thinking about your behavior.
Let's hope tomorrow is a better day.